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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Night Portrait Tips
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06/10/2007 07:57:06 PM · #1
I have scheduled a night portrait shoot with a model with the buildings of Atlanta as the backdrop. I have never done this and was wondering if anyone has any tips they may want to pass along.
06/10/2007 08:09:31 PM · #2
If you want to be really creative, get the model to freeze like a statue and then take a longer exposure. I took this one in a photography class using my PDA as a light source and it was very well received. I like the reflection in the window.

532691.jpg

There are lots of specs and stuff because this was taken with a film camera and scanned. I want to try something similar one day with my digital.

Message edited by author 2007-06-10 20:10:49.
06/10/2007 08:10:45 PM · #3
What kind of lighting are you planning to use rex?
06/10/2007 08:11:40 PM · #4
lighting will be the lights of the town and my 430EX
06/10/2007 08:21:39 PM · #5
Originally posted by rex:

lighting will be the lights of the town and my 430EX


Manually expose for the background and then let TTL deal with the subject.

If you don't have a way to get the flash off the camera, bounce the flash off a piece of poster board (or white reflector) placed behind and to the side of the camera.

Ofcourse you;re going to need a tripod.
06/10/2007 09:00:35 PM · #6
Ditto everything Leroy said.

Just one thing to add... chances are, exposing for the background, your shutter will be slow. Tell your model NOT TO MOVE even after the flash goes off. Because of the slow shutter speed, she may be tempted to relax or move around and that will cause some residual blurriness.


06/10/2007 09:24:44 PM · #7
Once you meter for the backdrop, as everyone said the shutter is going to be very slow. Take your flash off of the camera, hand hold and fire it off manually during the long exposure. I find that most of my night shots take about 3 to 5 seconds (minimum) which will give you plenty of time to set the flash off manually. I usually have the camera on timed shutter release which should give you about 10 seconds before the shutter opens. Plenty of time to move to the side with the flash.
06/10/2007 09:43:39 PM · #8
Originally posted by dwterry:

Tell your model NOT TO MOVE even after the flash goes off. Because of the slow shutter speed, she may be tempted to relax or move around and that will cause some residual blurriness.


It'll help to have the flash in second-curtain sync. That way any movement AFTER the flash (such as jerking) wont be recorded.
06/10/2007 10:22:43 PM · #9
Just a note that if you fire your flash manually, you'll have to figure out the proper flash exposure yourself (i.e. manually adjust the flash power up or down to get the amount of light you want on your model).

However, if you get flash cord (plugs into your hotshoe) then you can hold the camera up to about 2 feet away and still let e-TTL magic do its thing.

One more alternative would be to use another flash (550 or 580) or ST-E2 as a master and trigger your flash as a slave.

Any one of these alternatives will have more pleasing light than if you simply keep the flash on your camera.

06/11/2007 05:06:30 AM · #10
If you do a long exposure and you have something bright showing behind your subject, then chances are any movement from your subject will be lit by ambient and show as motion blur. Either compose accordingly or use it to your advantage. As far as the flash goes, metering TTL and balancing for the background can work, but if you're going to be there awhile then you'll get more consistent results by taking metering changes out of the equation and setting your flash to manual.

thumb_20070424022736_sf04_full.jpg
06/12/2007 10:04:21 PM · #11
I was having the same problem, the solutions posted above will only work if you have a subject that can be very still....A better solution for me was to buy an off camera flash, and a low light lens....I have a Nikon D40 , so I bought a 50mm f/1.8 lens....now I have no problems shooting with as much detail and sharpness as I do in the daytime
06/12/2007 10:07:10 PM · #12
flashlights are cool
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